It’s not just Montenegro – there’s still racism in English football | Adrian Chiles

We’ve learned to abhor open displays of prejudice, but evidence shows it remains a major and shameful part of our culture

I have got a friend called Bernie. Like me, he is a supporter of West Bromwich Albion. He runs gyms in prisons; he can look after himself. He is black, and remembers that our club was something of a pioneer in the British game in the 70s, with three magnificent black players: Brendon Batson, Laurie Cunningham and Cyrille Regis.

Like Raheem Sterling and other England players in Montenegro this week, Batson, Cunningham and Regis endured racist abuse. Back then, fans made monkey noises, used unspeakable words, threw bananas and other associated horrors. Bernie was in the crowd in those days. The players were outnumbered 10 or 20 to one on the pitch, but for black fans such as Bernie, it was thousands to one. “That must have been awful,” I said to him.

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